I am a documentary photographer who works for NGOs and Community groups in the U.K. and abroad. I like to use other media in my work, such as sound, installation, and occasionally even performance. Social issues are usually at the core of the work. My work has been shown in London and Europe and thanks to it I have been interviewed by the BBC World Service.
This summer I am working in Mexico for two months on a documentary photography project. This is a link to some photographs I have taken in Zihuatanejo so far: https://vimeo.com/70953542
Here is a link to some photographs from Ixtapa for the project: https://vimeo.com/72100678
The project will focus on two small neighbouring towns called Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. These towns are on a stretch of coastline in the state of Guerrero. Side by side they share the seashore, but are separated by what I would like to call an "Upstairs-Downstairs" relationship.
Ixtapa is the resort town designed for tourists to come and relax beside the beautiful Pacific shores.
Zihuatanejo is where the workers from the hotels, the tourist agencies and cleaning services live.
Zihuatanejo was the original seaside town where Mexicans would go to spend their vacation. It consists of houses sprawling over surrounding hill sides. A mish-mash of residential areas and homemade huts. The public services are unreliable and the beaches aren't as pristine.
Ixtapa has spacious and well built gardens and roads. It has two golf courses carefully shielded from non-members. The public services are all in place and work like clockwork.
They are only separated by a short road, standing in between them the contrast is irrefutable. At night Ixtapa is bright, while Zihuatanejo is in semi darkness.
I will be photographing life in these two towns for two months. I want to allow the eccentricities of these two places to sing through the photographs. The mosquito spraying vans, Chachalacas crossing the road, the highway that suddenly ends, people showering in a rainstorm, Friday Disco night in Ixtapa.
The photographs will reflect the two distinct voices of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. I will select a set of photographs for each town and present them side by side in a photo book to showcase their complex relationship.
During my time there I will give a series of photography workshops for kids and young people in Zihuatanejo. I am planning to use disposable cameras and focus not on the technical side of photography but on the act of learning to see things differently.
At the end of the workshops there will be a small exhibition of the photographs.
The Final Product
I will produce a unique art book that will go to photo book exhibitions. The design of the book will portray the dual nature of the project while reaching a wider audience. Here are some sketches for the designs.
There will also be an exhibition in 2014 here in London. The design of the exhibition will echo the notion of double vision. It will be presented in the format of an installation art piece.
The Double Vision Kickstarter page aims to support travel expenses between the U.K. and Mexico and within Mexico, as well as part of the materials that I will use for a photographic workshops with kids and young people in Zihuatanejo.
MANY MANY THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Risks and challenges
There are always challenges when making a documentary photography project, as you never know what you will encounter and you must be prepared to respond to whatever situation comes your way.
My experience with working in documentary and art projects in London and abroad has prepared me for the inevitable challenges, and unexpected situations, that will come my way.
There are certain issues of safety working in Mexico, but I am originally from Mexico and this gives a safety net and a network of people I can rely on if anything goes wrong.
It is also important to know that this project is not looking to be controversial or provocative in any way. The main aim is to show a wider more human view of people's lives in these towns in Mexico at the moment.
- (30 days)